Nothing all that revelatory, as the the list of 25 witnesses doesn’t have any new names from the near-identical list prosecutors filed in February of 2009, a month before the trial was originally scheduled to begin. According to the report, the list includes Jason Giambi, Jason’s brother Jeremy Giambi, Bobby Estalella, Armando Rios, Marvin Bernard, Benito Santiago and Randy Velarde. Bonds’ former girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, and former football player Larry Izzo are also expected to testify.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to emerge from the AP report — it was new to me, anyway — is that prosecutors intend to use a urine sample Bonds provided as part of MLB’s testing program in 2003, which they say proves that he tested positive for steroid use.
OK, with that painful update out of the way, let’s get back to talking playoff baseball.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.